HC Deb 21 October 1946 vol 427 cc1310-1
67. Mr. Garry Allighan

asked the Minister of Agriculture how much of the £30,000 earmarked in March last for spending on the W.L.A. recruiting campaign has been spent since; how much had been spent on such recruiting before that date; and if he will specify the categories of expenditure absorbing the total amount.

Mr. T. Williams

Since the reply contains a number of figures, I am circulating it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

before the campaign began, he will now cease further expenditure of that nature.

Mr. T. Williams

No, Sir. A comparison of the total strength of the Women's Land Army now and in 1945 does not give a true picture. Losses inevitably occurred with the end of the War and the official release scheme, but some 12,000 recruits have joined since April. While the Women's Land Army remains in being further expenditure on recruiting may be found necessary.

Mr. Allighan

In view of the relative failure of the recruiting campaign, in which he has gained far fewer than he has lost, will not the Minister consider the advisability of adjusting the campaign to a new approach, offering conditions of service relatively as attractive as those in the other Women's Services?

Mr. Williams

I do not agree that the recruiting campaign has been a failure. To have recruited 12,000 persons to the Women's Land Army since the campaign started in April is, I think, sound business.

Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite

Does not the Minister consider that it would have been better to spend this money on improving accommodation and amenities for these girls, in which case far fewer would have resigned? Is he not a long way down on balance?